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Philippine military attacks hardline Muslim renegades

Published on Jan 27, 2014 11:59 AM

MANILA (AFP) - The Philippine military attacked a Muslim renegade faction on Monday, two days after the country's main Muslim rebel group successfully ended negotiations to end a decades-long insurgency that has killed tens of thousands.

Soldiers, backed by artillery, attacked guerrillas of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) in a remote village on the southern island of Mindanao, triggering fighting that sent hundreds of civilians fleeing, the military said.

Regional military spokesman Dickson Hermoso told AFP the attacks were launched in a bid to arrest about 25 leaders of the BIFF, a small group of between 250 and 400 militants that is opposed to the peace process.

The attacks began on Monday morning and were continuing throughout the day, according to Colonel Hermoso, who said there were no immediate casualties.

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